Saturday, October 1, 2011
It's odd, but true. The 100mm cigarette or "longs", so common today did not exist until 1967 when Benson & Hedges introduced them.
Benson and Hedges was a long-standing British cigarette manufacturer which was the official supplier of smokes to the British Royal family.
Its American branch was bought by Phillip Morris in 1954. The brand was among the least popular here until 1967, when B&H retained the ad agency of Wells, Rich, Greene to introduce its new, longer, 100 mm cigarette.
They came out with a series of semi-humorous, Clio-award winning ads playing, tongue-in-cheek, on the "disadvantages" of the longer cigarette.
Benson & Hedges became a big seller almost instantly and competing brands hurried out their own 100s to try and keep their brand loyalty.
Here is one of the Clio award-winning commercials. Look closely at the character in the boat, he is an, as yet undiscovered, McLean Stevenson: